He showed up one day last week, out of the blue. I opened a package and there he was, innocent and lonely, tucked away in the packing material. He seemed like a nice enough guy. A slight smile on his face that I mistakenly took for shyness. He said that his name was ELF and he was from the North Pole. ELF? NORTH POLE? The greatest manufacturing facility in the World. They produce toys of every size and shape for every boy and girl in the world. And On Time Delivery? Santa hasn’t missed a Christmas Eve ever! Since Ebsco is a manufacturer, we can learn things from Elf! Now I was excited! He hung with me the first day. Seeming to enjoy the company, rather quiet but interested in what I was doing. He watched me as I worked, sitting on a shelf above my monitor. It wasn’t until the next day that I discovered what I mistakenly took for shyness was something completely different.
I arrived the following day to find the small Christmas tree in the reception area toilet papered! I must say it was done with taste, but still, toilet papered. And there he was, inside the toilet paper roll with that same smile on his face. He papered the tree! Being as naive as I can be, I chalked it up to acting out in a new location and gave the little guy another chance. A few of my co-workers took him in and I didn’t see him the rest of the day. Now you have to understand the team at Ebsco. Don’t get me wrong, They are GREAT at what they do, but they can be very “spirited” (another word for mischievous). I had no idea what was coming next.
On the next day of our guests stay I heard our sales manager, Cris cry out, “I’m not cleaning this up”. Going back to his office I found that our guest, Elf with the help of a few of his new Ebsco friends had covered Cris’ office in shredded paper. It looked like a Elve’s winter wonderland. And there he was, in the middle of the mess, making snow angels or should I say shredded paper angels on Cris’ desk. I was ready to give him the boot but another group of our “spirited” team grabbed our new “friend” and whisked him off.
Now they had a completely different take on what our new Elf needed. They thought he might be lonely in this new and unfamiliar place so they arranged to throw him a party with a few friends. A few friends? His idea of friends were Pee Wee Herman, T-Rex, Barbie, a Fairy and others I did not know. It started innocent with them roasting marshmallows and smores over a fire, but as time wore on ….well let’s just say “What happens at Ebsco stays at Ebsco.
I knew I need to intervene but too late, he quickly disappeared with another group of Ebsco staff and disappeared. I guess he sensed I was reaching the end of my rope and knew he had to act. My next encounter with our Elf was in the shop. He was busy measuring springs and making sure our quality was up to his standards. I was pleased to see ELf doing what he did best. In the workshop. He seemed pleased with the quality that Ebsco produced and I hoped would give us some tips from his experience at the North Pole.
The next day it began to snow. As all of us were shoveling, salting and scraping car windows, bundled in coats and gloves, I spotted Elf sitting outside enjoying the cold and snow. I guess, being from the North Pole this was really his kind of weather. He seemed to be relaxing and enjoying himself just as you or I would be laying out on the beach in the Caribbean. I was glad that Elf was happy and left him to himself. He had been working hard in the shop and deserved a break.
I am happy to see Elf but have some concerns. With what I’ve seen so far, Elf seems to have a mischievous side. Around the team at Ebsco that could be dangerous. Second, why would Santa allow Elf to visit us this time of year. I would think that Santa would need all of his Elves getting ready for Christmas. And finally, why us? Why were we so lucky to host such a prestigious guest? My hopes are that we are going to have the opportunity to learn the manufacturing secrets of the greatest manufacturer in the world. My fears are that his mischievous side, with that of the Ebsco team, will combine to cause chaos at Ebsco this Christmas season.
If you are interested in what happens next I encourage you to follow our time with Elf at https://www.facebook.com/EbscoSpring. We will chronicle his visit and post pictures of his mischief.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go find Elf. No telling what trouble he has himself in now.